Chipperfield: Beautiful, welcoming and busy
PUBLISHED: 17:11 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:38 20 February 2013
Louise McEvoy shines a spotlight on Chipperfield and discovers its rural charm
SITUATED on a chalk plateau at the edge of the Chilterns, Chipperfield is a small and active village and has managed to retain its rural character despite being close to both Hemel Hempstead and Watford.
With a mixture of open farmland, copses and wooded areas, fields come right into the village and provide an agricultural setting, with roads bordered by an attractive mix of gardens, hedges, fields and woodland.
Chipperfield, which has been included within the Metropolitan Green Belt, is perhaps best known for its common, which was gifted to the local authority by the Lord of the Manor of Kings Langley in 1936, to be maintained in consultation with village residents.
The common extends to more than 100 acres and there are 16 designated footpaths across the common and farmlands, which are well used by residents and visitors to the area.
'It's a central and well-loved part of the village and it has a great atmosphere and beautiful surroundings'
The common has now received the Green Flag Award, which recognises and rewards the best high quality green spaces in the country. The award is seen as a way of encouraging others to achieve the same high environmental standards, creating a benchmark of excellence in recreational green areas.
Chipperfield has well-supported clubs for tennis, cricket, short-mat bowling, and football, as well as a social club and a youth club, a village hall, a primary school, and three active churches.
Jason Gain, the pastor at Chipperfield Baptist Church, has just finished his first year of a three year course as a Minister in Training and says, 'The most enjoyable part of the job is the people here. The family and I moved here from Dorset and were wholly welcomed without reservation. It's really not a bad place to be a minister.'
He describes Chipperfield as 'beautiful, welcoming and busy' and says his favourite place is the common, explaining, 'It's a central and well-loved part of the village and it has a great atmosphere and beautiful surroundings. There is a real buzz about the common in summer, with so many people in the woods, or at the cricket pitch, the tennis club or Blackwells Village Club.'
He suggests anyone visiting Chipperfield should spend the day taking a relaxing walk in the woods, watching the cricket, and enjoying a leisurely lunch.
Chipperfield also has its own theatre group after a small number of residents looking for an outlet for their excess of performing talent set about putting together a pantomine in 1992.
The Chipperfield Theatre Group (CTG) was born and now, 16 years on, CTG goes from strength to strength and puts on between two and four productions a year, providing support to charities and other Chipperfield organisations.
Having just completed a murder mystery fundraiser which raised almost 2,000 for the theatre group's chosen charities, group members are embracing the Christmas spirit and rehearsing hard for this year's pantomime, which is Jack and the Beanstalk and will run from January 29 to 31.
Rob Hine, the current chairman of the theatre group, says, 'I joined CTG six years ago to help with the sound and lighting. Since then I have not only made some amazing new friends but have also appeared in 11 plays ranging from the unforgettable front-end-of-the-horse in Pinocchio to the more challenging role of Geoffrey in Stepping Out.
'It is difficult to describe how rewarding this experience has been but if you want to find out for yourselves why not come along to one of our rehearsals and meet the gang?'
He adds, 'Last year I was privileged to be voted chairman, a role which has highlighted for me the need to increase the membership group, not just for the acting roles but also for help behind the scenes, including set designing and building as well as sound and lighting for the more technically minded. I know it can be a daunting prospect to join a group like this but I can assure you it is well worth the effort.'
If you would like to know more about the theatre group or would like to book tickets for a show, visit www.chipperfieldtheatregroup.com